Top SEO 2021 trends to drive traffic to your site

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is one of the most effective ways to attract customers to your website. However, you’ve got to do it right. Algorithms are continually evolving, and it can be difficult keeping on top of your SEO strategy. Check out our handy guide below to take you through the top 2021 SEO trends that will help drive the right traffic to your site.

What are the ten most important trends to gain SEO success in 2021?

The top ten trends are summarised as follows, which we will go into more in-depth below. We’ll explain what each of these is and provide some tips and suggestions to optimise your site.

  1. Core Web Vitals
  2. Google’s BERT
  3. Keyword research
  4. Original content
  5. Voice search
  6. Artificial intelligence
  7. Video marketing
  8. Featured snippets
  9. Influencer SEO
  10. EAT & branded SEO

Core Web Vitals

Google makes hundreds of changes a year. Every week they introduce changes to their algorithm, which makes it extremely difficult to keep up. But this year, Core Web Vitals is going to be a complete gamechanger in how you rank on Google, and it’s worth understanding this now to get your site ranking higher.
Core web vitals can be split into three components:

  • ๐‹๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐๐š๐ข๐ง๐ญ (๐‹๐‚๐)
  • ๐…๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ˆ๐ง๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ƒ๐ž๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ (๐…๐ˆ๐ƒ)
  • ๐‚๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐‹๐š๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐’๐ก๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ (๐‚๐‹๐ƒ)

๐‹๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐๐š๐ข๐ง๐ญ (๐‹๐‚๐)
Basically, how fast does the page load? You’ll need to think about render time, the largest image, video, text in the first viewed part of your page.

๐…๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ˆ๐ง๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ƒ๐ž๐ฅ๐š๐ฒ (๐…๐ˆ๐ƒ)
FID measures the time it takes for the browser to respond to the first interaction by the user. The faster the browser reacts, the more responsive the page will appear.

๐‚๐ฎ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐‹๐š๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐’๐ก๐ข๐Ÿ๐ญ (๐‚๐‹๐ƒ)
This metric tries to determine how ‘stable’ stuff loads onto your screen. For example, does the content jump around while loading and by how much?

Google BERT

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐๐„๐‘๐“?
BERT allows Google to understand what we type in the search bar and the context of its usage.

With voice search increasing, queries are becoming more conversational each day. Hummingbird, in 2013, introduced Google’s first response to this new type of searching. BERT has taken it to the next level in how it processes the search and how it understands the language.

๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐๐„๐‘๐“ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค?
BERT is a system that uses pattern recognition to understand how humans communicate, allowing Google’s algorithm to return more relevant results each time for its customers.

๐‡๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ค ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐๐„๐‘๐“?
Content is king here! Create relevant and useful content for your customers. Pretty simple, huh?

Keyword Research

Imagine you search for an item, but the results that came back weren’t relevant or valuable to what you were looking for. It is pretty much a waste of time to get garbage results!

This is why 72% of online marketers believe content marketing is their number one SEO tactic.

The purpose of content marketing is to create and share relevant written media and content so your target audience can learn about:

  • you and your expertise
  • our brand
  • your products or services

To get the right people there, you need to focus on your searcher’s intent. You need to know what they are looking for and everything about them.

This is where it also comes down to investing the time in keyword research to find the keywords to drive traffic and sales for your business.

Original Content

“Make a 110% awesome and outstanding site that works well for your users. Focus on unique, compelling, and high-quality content; don’t focus on counting words.”

The quote is an older one from Google’s guru, John Mueller, is still extremely relevant today with Google’s algorithm.

It’s not really about the word count, it’s about the content.

Compelling content brings people back and also validates search intent.

Great content = more visitors = better search rankings!!

Voice Search

How many times have you used voice search today?

55% of teens and 41% of adults have used voice search technology more than once.

So if you’re not thinking about voice searches, it’s now time to do so.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐๐ข๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฏ๐จ๐ข๐œ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐œ๐ก ๐ข๐ง ๐’๐„๐Ž?
Voice search queries are long-tail/long-form content and very specific. People are looking for specific answers to their question, and they’re more ready to buy.

With the way technology works, expect people to do much more this year in this space.

Artificial Intelligence

Search engines are using AI (Artificial Intelligence) to change the SEO field, but interestingly enough, you can take advantage of it too!

There are tools out there that allow you to take advantage of the AI scene, including Frase, Hubspot and MarketMuse.

Where can you go with AI?

  • Get AI to do the hard research for you on keywords
  • AI can now write articles for you or at least start them for you (not recommended)
  • plus much more

Whilst AI can ease the workload; human interaction is still needed.


AI cannot replicate emotion or personalise your content to make it unique to you!

Humans want that unique touch and to feel that your product or service is especially for them alone.
If you use AI, make sure to proofread it all and put your spin on the information.

Nothing beats your uniqueness to sell your brand!

Video marketing

Yes, 2021 is the time for video content.

YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google, with over 1 billion users. So it’s seriously time to get started.

Not sure what to post?

  • How about:
  • Explainer / how to use videos
  • Product videos
  • Product story
  • Behind the scenes
  • New product or launch
  • Promo videos
  • About us

Don’t forget about keyword SEO on videos too! It’s essential.

Featured snippets

You might hear people talking about 0 position (P0) or zero-click searches when it comes to SEO, and you’re probably wondering what the h#ll is that?

0 position refers to the highest place available in Google’s search engine results (SERP) and is directly related to featured snippets/ rich snippets.

BUT, it’s worth noting a newly introduced change from Google on 23rd January to “declutter” results:

If your web page listing is in the featured snippet position, you will no longer show on the first page results.

So is being P0 worth it still?
It depends, as featured snippets are the first thing used for voice search.

You may need to consider where your target audience is coming from currently AND what your strategic position is moving forward. As we’ve mentioned, Voice search is only going to get stronger in the future…

Just a note:
In February 2021, people have noted that Google has reduced the number of feature snippets currently displayed. It is unknown if this is a permanent change or just due to current Covid circumstances. It’s something to keep an eye on!!

Influencer SEO

Trust is key to winning over customers today.

An influencer or a peer review can earn you big points in increasing your customer base and sales. The ROI is so enormous that 89% of marketers believe influencer marketing is better than other marketing methods.

How does it impact your SEO, though?

Linkbuilding and high-quality backlinks from these reviews to your site can mean major kudos to search engine results. More engagement equals higher rankings.

The same goes for Social Media traffic. Viral content generates tons of social media engagement and referral traffic!

EAT and branded SEO

No, not food, but Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).

If you’re wanting to get far in Google Search Ranking’s, you’ll need to get used to this term.

E-A-T is part of Google’s essential factors for working out your Page Quality Rating.

What does it all mean?

E – your site is checked regularly to see if you have quality pages on topics in your field of expertise, and they do routinely check. You can write articles yourself in this field or have experts guest-post for you.

A – an authority website is a site that can be trusted. It’s trusted by its users, industry experts and other websites. Valuable content is key here to gain more backlinks. People will refer to you if your information on your site is trustworthy and useful!

T – trust comes down to social proof and positive reviews and testimonials. Whilst negative reviews don’t directly influence your ranking, it might be worth finding out what’s causing the negativity before it gets worse.

To keep competitive with other businesses, it’s always essential to look for improved SEO strategies to gain more traffic and generate sales for you. Your online presence is more important than ever in today’s environment, and the only way to keep ahead is to stay on top.

Need some help with your SEO strategy? Design Grid can help you keep ahead of your competitors – get in touch now.ย  Read also our 5 most effective tips for small businesses.

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